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In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

  • Standard Recovery Time:
  • Average Cost:
    $12,750 - $15,500
  • Anesthesia Required: :
  • Monthly Payments Starting From:
Woman holding a baby hand in her hand

About In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is one of the world’s most well-known and widely used assisted reproductive technologies. It has assisted countless aspiring parents in overcoming previously insurmountable fertility challenges. It gives many patients who are trying to start families hope when other treatments have failed. With the help of Dr. Paul Chang (MD, FRCSC, REI), a highly trained Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility Specialist from TRIO Fertility in Toronto, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions about IVF treatment.

Commonly asked questions about In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

Before undertaking any procedure, you will want to be confident in your knowledge. Find the details on In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) here.

1. What is IVF?

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a type of fertility treatment using the most effective form of assisted reproductive technology, as well as surgical procedures and medications, to assist sperm in fertilizing an egg (or oocyte) outside of the body. Once a healthy embryo has formed, it is then transferred into the uterus of the woman. IVF is one of the most commonly used treatments to improve pregnancy chances.

Dr. Paul Chang, from TRIO Fertility, weighed in on the key advantages of undergoing IVF treatment:

“For people with infertility, IVF is often the most effective way to become pregnant. IVF provides you with an opportunity to learn more fully about your egg quality, as the procedure is the only way to physically access the eggs and observe the egg-sperm interaction to determine egg quality. By undergoing IVF, you can safeguard your future fertility by banking embryos today. Think of it as an alternative to planned egg freezing for those with partner sperm or donor sperm available. IVF provides the option of genetically testing embryos for genetic and chromosomal diseases, allowing you to select healthy embryos for transfer to the womb.” 

2. How does IVF work?

IVF involves stimulating the ovaries to produce one or more follicles containing eggs. The eggs are retrieved and fertilized with conventional IVF or Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) using a prepared sperm sample to create embryos. The viable embryo is then transferred to the uterus. IVF can be performed using a couple’s eggs and sperm, an anonymous donor, or a gestational carrier.

3. When to consider IVF?

IVF treatment is frequently used by infertile couples with blocked tubes, couples who have had unsuccessful IUI attempts, or who are at risk of passing on a genetic disorder. It may also help people who are sexually and gender diverse (2SLGBTQIA+), as well as single people, in starting a family.

4. Who is a candidate for IVF?

There are numerous reasons to choose IVF. Common reasons for women and couples trying to conceive using IVF treatment include, but are not limited to:

  • Female infertility, such as reduced egg quantity/ quality
  • Male infertility, such as reduced sperm quantity/ quality
  • History of recurrent pregnancy loss or miscarriage
  • Structural issues, such as blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
  • Reduced ovarian function
  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Cancer survivors (contact us for more details)
  • Patients using an egg or sperm donor or gestational carrier
  • History of genetic disease in one or both partners

5. What should patients look for in a fertility clinic or doctor?

Choosing the right fertility clinic or doctor is crucial for patients embarking on their fertility journey. With numerous factors to consider, it’s essential to know what to look for, Dr. Chang says:


  1. Location, location, location. If the clinic is located too far away from you, then this may become a barrier.
  2. A team that is reachable within a reasonable amount of time.
  3. A clinic with a good reputation and lots of experience.


  1. Someone who is your ally. 
  2. Someone who listens.
  3. Someone who offers you medical explanations that you can understand.
  4. Someone you trust.”

6. How does IVF treatment work?


Prior to beginning an IVF treatment cycle, both parties (if applicable) will first undergo an initial assessment. Patients will be advised on treatment preparation, including any medications, during this early stage.

Ovarian Stimulation

Each patient’s stimulation can look different depending on various factors. Generally, the patient will receive daily injections of follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) with or without luteinizing hormone (LH) for approximately 8 -14 days to stimulate the ovaries and create multiple eggs.

Egg Retrieval

The egg retrieval is a procedure in which doctors insert a speculum into the vagina to clean the cervix, then, using an ultrasound technique, the follicles in the ovary will be located prior to the collection of eggs and follicular fluid. The procedure takes about 5 to 10 minutes and is accompanied by a sedative or local anesthetic.

Sperm Sample

On the same day of the egg retrieval, a sperm sample is required. This is provided by your partner or pre-arranged sperm donor.


After the eggs are extracted from the ovaries, they will be fertilized with the sperm sample provided. The fertilized eggs are then placed in an incubator for 5 days to develop into a mature embryo known as a blastocyst. At this stage, the blastocyst can be transferred to the patient’s uterus or a gestational carrier for implantation and potential pregnancy. If there are multiple blastocysts or if you plan to do a frozen embryo transfer, they can be safely frozen for future transfer.

Embryo Transfer

When your body and embryos are ready for implantation, embryo transfer will take place. The procedure entails inserting a speculum, cleansing your cervix, and placing the embryo in the upper portion of your uterus using an embryo transfer catheter. The experience is comparable to a PAP smear.

Pregnancy Test

A pregnancy test will be administered about two weeks after the procedure to determine if you are successfully pregnant, and an ultrasound will be performed 2-3 weeks later to ensure that an embryo has been successfully implanted in the uterus.

7. How long does IVF take to complete?

An average IVF cycle takes one month from the time fertility medications are started until the eggs are harvested.

8. How much does IVF treatment cost in Canada?

The cost of IVF treatment varies depending on factors such as the physician’s clinical experience/technique, geographic location, and additional medical factors such as the number of cycles, medications, and tests. In Canada, the average cost for one cycle of IVF treatment ranges between $12,750,000 to $15,500.

9. Areas to discuss with your specialist

As with any medical procedure, IVF treatment carries risks and side effects. It is critical that you discuss the procedure with your physician. Different stages of the IVF process may be associated with risks including, but not limited to:

  • Soreness and/or bruising
  • Nausea and/or bloating
  • Breast soreness
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Abdominal pain
  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)

The field of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) has revolutionized the world of reproductive medicine, offering hope to millions of individuals and couples struggling with infertility. As technology continues to advance and scientific breakthroughs emerge, the future of IVF holds tremendous potential. When poised with the question “what do you see as the future of IVF?”, Dr. Chang said:

“Effective home monitoring to reduce the number of ultrasounds and blood tests done at the clinic. Fewer injections or medications with painless delivery systems. Using AI to better predict your prognosis, dosing of medications, and response to IVF. In the lab, using AI to choose the best quality embryos – that is, those that are most likely to become a pregnancy – for transfer.”